I was recently reading through the Sunday paper and this stat caught my attention: “Cancer cases expected to surge 57% worldwide in the next 20 years.” For some reason these stats don’t really surprise me anymore, It’s all doom, gloom and shock in the news it seems. The next line was “its an imminent “human disaster” that will require a renewed focus on prevention to combat,” according to the World Health Organization. Really? You’re just coming up with this?
The World Cancer Report, produced by the WHO’s specialized cancer agency and released on World Cancer Day, (February 4th) predicts new cancer cases will rise from an estimated 14 million annually in 2012 to 22 million within two decades. Over the same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from 8.2 million a year to 13 million.
The rising incidence of cancer, brought about chiefly by growing, aging populations worldwide, will require a heavier focus on preventive public health policies, said Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. “We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem,” he said. “More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.”
The report said about half of all cancers were preventable and could have been avoided if current medical knowledge was acted upon. The disease could be tackled by addressing lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and exercise & adopting screening programs. The cancer rates are not going up for shocking reasons, but for reasons that are easier to understand, and if we improve overall health, there are things we can do to prevent this from happening.
The United States is dealing with an obesity epidemic, the rates of adults who are considered obese has doubled since the 1970s.
Governments needed to appreciate that screening and early detection programs were “an investment rather than a cost,” said Bernard Stewart, co-editor of the report — and low-tech approaches had proven successful in some developing countries.
Roger Barnett the Chairman for the Shaklee Corporation said this more than 4 years ago: (Click To Watch Video) “Today the overwhelming majority of dollars spent on health care are spent AFTER people are sick.” “Before the aging boomer population bankrupts our country, we will have to have a massive shift in thinking from “wait till people get sick and then try to make them healthy” to “keep people healthy so they don’t get sick.” “Its called prevention and its where hundreds of billions of dollars are and will be spent.” “Shaklee the #1 Natural Nutrition Company in the U.S. has lead the way in prevention for the last 50 years.” “We are the ONLY company in the world that has proof of what our products can do over a 20 year period to help people stay healthy with patented natural products.” (Watch The Landmark Study Video (3:23)
The Problems & Missed Opportunities Of The Report
While the report does a good job of bringing attention to a growing epidemic, it fails to focus on “Real Prevention” except for the whole don’t smoke, or drink alcohol excessively. Screenings and early detection does not fall into the “prevention” category. The reason they don’t is because while they may help in catching something early and offering a better chance of “treating it” it does not “Prevent” anything. The screening will not prevent you from getting cancer, its just another part of the treatment process.
There is also too much emphasis put on the exercise part of health. Now don’t get me wrong, I/We fully support the practice of regular exercise as a component of overall health. The downside to this is the barriers to entry they pose. What is the disclaimer you always see when exercise is mentioned? “Before you start an exercise regimen consult your physician first.” This immediately plants a feeling of fear in them, they wonder will I have a stroke or heart attack if I start working out? That’s a barrier, and it automatically creates a negative image towards moving forward. Now think if eating healthier were promoted more, and by that I mean made easier to get help with and equally funded. Example – What if companies would sponsor a program to have meals made for employees or to hire people to teach them the basics of healthy eating/cooking over 3-4 weeks. Or have a 15-30 minute cooking class after work that would show them how to go home and make a healthy meal AND provide them with the ingredients. A big part of prevention is healthy eating and getting your body key nutrients. When is the last time you heard “see your doctor before starting to eat healthier?” Make it even easier by also promoting “whole foods supplementation”
According to six new studies published in the journal Psychological Science, it turns out, people who think that diet is the most important factor in weight control tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who believe that exercise is the key.
The problem: Many people think they can work off extra pounds—but there’s a ton of scientific evidence to support the fact that changing your diet is a more effective way to drop weight.
The World Cancer Report, which is published about once every five years, involved a collaboration of around 250 scientists from more than 40 countries. Tuesday is World Cancer Day.